Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Banker Julie Fraser admits £218,000 fraud

Scottish bank notes
Image caption Julie Fraser admitted stealing from bank customers through 26 separate transactions

A banker is facing a prison sentence after she admitted stealing more than £218,000 from customers to "fund her lifestyle."

Julie Fraser admitted transferring cash from customer accounts into her own at Kirkcaldy's Bank of Scotland.

The fraud was uncovered when a monitoring system used by the bank flagged up a transfer of £5,000 between accounts.

She will be held in custody ahead of sentencing next month.

After being detected, a further probe uncovered Fraser had been involved in a total of 26 transactions taking cash from customers and giving it to herself.

'Fund her lifestyle'

Fiscal depute Dev Kapadia told Cupar Sheriff Court: "The offence came to light on 22 October 2012 when the monitoring system highlighted an informal transfer of £5,0000 from a customer's account into another account.

"She was interviewed by fraud investigators and she admitted she'd done it but that the customer "wasn't good with finances so wouldn't notice money was missing.

"She said she had done it to fund her lifestyle and to put her daughter through university.

"Further checks found a total of 26 informal transfers totalling £218,314.93 from four different customers."

Mr Kapadia added: "She was re-interviewed on 12 November and admitted that she had destroyed the papers relating to the transfers when she attended monthly meetings in the Perth branch."

Fraser pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of embezzlement.

'Breach of trust'

Solicitor David Bell, defending Fraser, said his client knew she faced a jail sentence and would not ask the court to deal with the case in any other way.

He said: "It was a significant breach of trust and a large quantity of money."

Mr Bell added that she wanted to go into prison as soon as possible so she could serve her sentence and get out quickly as she has an 83-year-old mother who she and her sister look after on a daily basis.

He said the money had been repaid to the bank by taking it from her pension fund, which was substantial as she had worked for the bank since leaving school.

Sheriff Charles Macnair QC told Fraser she faced a "significant" prison sentence.

He remanded her in custody and deferred sentence until next month for a background report.

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